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About tour

Explore one of the longest and best-known lava tubes in Iceland on our Raufarholshellir Cave Tour. These magnificent lava tubes were formed 5200 years ago by a volcanic eruption and span an impressive 1360 m (4500 ft). During this caving excursion, you’ll encounter the various colors and textures of ancient lava formations. Located just 30 minutes from the capital, it’s the most easily accessible lava cave near Reykjavik and is open year-round. Delve down into the subterranean world of lava beneath the ice on this unique experience!


  • Iceland's 4th longest lava tube cave
  • Lava formations
  • Icelandic lava field


  • Guided caving tour
  • Flash light
  • Gloves and helmet

What to bring

  • Warm outdoor clothing
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Headwear
  • Gloves
  • Good hiking boots with ankle support are required

Tour Snapshot

Availability All Year
Duration 3-4 hours
Departs From Raufarholshellir
Level Challenging
Minimum age 12 years
Ratio 1:8
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up No


  • Expert Guides
  • Small Group Experience
  • Free Wifi
  • No Booking Fees
  • Fast & Secure Payment
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Explore the depths of Iceland’s 4th longest lava tube cave on our Raufarholshellir Cave Tour. Stretching an estimated 1,360 meters (4,461 ft) long, the tunnels of Raufarholshellir make up their own subterranean universe. Magnificently colored in hues of red and purple, the chambers of the cave are a spectacular sight. Each color tells a story of the cave’s history, which your tour guide will share with you along the way.

Like many Icelandic attractions, the Raufarholshellir lava tunnel was born from a volcanic eruption, known as the Leitahraun eruption, in the Bláfjöll mountain range. You’ll walk in the path of lava that flowed 5200 years ago.

Moss-covered lava stretches throughout the cave. Due to the popularity of the cave, the stalactites began to disappear around the 1950s. However, today you can still spot a few. In winter ice coats the cave interior and giant ice formations create a breathtaking winter wonderland.

Just a 30-minute drive from Reykjavik, Raufarholshellir's lava tube cave is one of the most accessible caves in the country. There are four entrances, all within a short distance of each other. It is extremely spacious at between 10 and 30 meters wide (33 to 99 ft) and up to 10 meters tall (33 ft). Inside the tube explore the largest lava chambers in Iceland, excluding Surtshellir and Vidgelmir lava tubes in West Iceland.

Parts of the cave have uneven surfaces and are difficult to trek. We insist that all participants visiting the lava tunnel be in good physical shape. Discover the ancient remnants of a volcano on this unique tour experience. These dazzling caves are sure to excite your inner explorer!

Pink Light in the Inside of Lava Tunnel

Lava tubes are natural canals through which lava flows below the surface following a volcanic eruption. Tubes can either be actively draining lava from the source or be extinct, wherein the lava flow has stopped and the rock has cooled. In the latter case, a long, cave-like channel is left behind.

Lava tubes form when an active low-viscosity lava flow produces a continuous hard crust. The crust thickens to create a roof over the still-running lava stream. There are only two ways for tubes to form: by forming a crust over lava channels, or from lava flows moving beneath the surface.

Have a car? You can meet us on-site. Raufarholshellir Cave is located less than a 30-minute drive (approximately 30 km) from Reykjavík and is accessible by all vehicles.

Drive from Reykjavík east on Route 1 for about 18 km. Turn right onto Route 39 (Þorlákshöfn) and continue for another 12 km. The parking area will be on your left-hand side. 

The GPS coordinates are: N.63º 56.407 / W. 021º 23.742

  • Good hiking boots with ankle support are required. We reserve the right to refuse anyone who does not have appropriate footwear.

  • This tour is only for people in good physical shape. We do not recommend this excursion for people with back, knee or other health issues.


Meet on location means travelling to the location of the tour yourself and then meeting our tour guides rather than being picked up and taken to the location.

This is a great question. We ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pickup time indicated. This is because you may well be the first pick up of the day. Please be at your assigned location at the start time that you chose when booking the tour.

Here you should wait for your guide.

Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.

View our pick-up locations in Reykjavík.

Before and during activities on the multi-day tours consumption of alcohol is prohibited. If we suspect that a participant is intoxicated, we will prohibit them from joining the activity.

After the activities of the day are finished, you are welcome to have a drink and relax.

Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Elding has been a favourite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summertime).

Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs. Most of our super jeep tours are also suitable for children over the age of 6 years old. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.

Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes depending on conditions. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.

Yes, there is a specially trained and certified guide on each of our tours. The only exception to this is for our self-drive tours.

All of our tours are guided in English.

No, for all your questions and concerns you would need to contact our customer service.

The standard in Iceland is 230V and 50Hz and we use F-type power sockets and plugs, so you might have to bring an adaptor if you are visiting from UK, USA, Canada or other countries using a different voltage, Hz or plugs.

Our tours are split into four different categories that help participants to understand what to expect from the tour. The categories are Easy, Moderate, Challenging and Demanding. Each tour is rated making it easier to find tours that suit you.

For further information about the difficulty ratings and descriptions.

We’ve partnered with the Kolviður Fund in a new carbon offsetting program, which passengers can select to participate in at the time of booking.

The Kolviður Fund is the oldest, most respected carbon offsetting program in Iceland. With your support, one tree will be planted in special Kolviður forests in Iceland to carbon offset your tour with us.

Kolviður forests are strategically planted to absorb the maximum amount of CO2 and the forests are protected for a minimum of 60 years. During their lifetime the trees absorb carbon and store it in their root system, trunk, and branches. Trees also prevent soil erosion and maintain storage of carbon in the soil.

We provide you with a headlight and a helmet.

Like always in Iceland, it’s best to dress in layers. Warm layers closest to you preferably wool/thermal underwear, pants sweater and on top waterproof outdoor clothing. We also recommend that you wear good hiking boots and gloves. Jeans have proven to be a bad choice.

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